This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/7117
August 22, 2015
European Train Shooter was Flagged as a Jihadist
Obama lauds 3 American 'heroes' on vacation who overpowered Moroccan Spaniard who was on jihadist list; 'he had no chance.'
Arutz Sheva Staff
French investigators were on Saturday interrogating a man who was overpowered by three young Americans after he opened fire with a Kalashnikov on a train between Amsterdam and Paris.
The suspect is thought to be a 26-year-old of Moroccan origin who had lived in Spain, said sources close to the investigation. He was known to the French authorities after being flagged as a potential jihadist by Spanish intelligence services.
Spanish daily El Pais said he moved to France last year and had visited Syria.
Armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, an automatic pistol, nine cartridge clips and a box-cutter, the man opened fire on board the TGV train just after it crossed from Belgium into France on Friday evening.
But the attack was quickly stopped when a group of young Americans on holiday - two of them off-duty soldiers - charged the gunman and overpowered him.
"I looked back and saw a guy enter with a Kalashnikov. My friends and I got down and then I said 'Let's get him,'" Alek Skarlatos, a 22-year-old member of the National Guard in Oregon, told reporters.
Spencer Stone, who is reportedly in the US Air Force, was the first to reach the gunman - and was slashed in the neck and hand with a box-cutter during the confrontation.
"At that point I showed up and grabbed the gun from him and basically started beating him in the head until he fell unconscious," said Skarlatos, who recently returned from service in Afghanistan.
The third American, student Anthony Sadler, said the attacker "didn't stand a chance."
"As soon as we saw him, we all ran back there. It all happened really fast," said Sadler.
"He didn't say anything. He was just telling us to give back his gun. 'Give me back my gun! Give me back my gun!' But we just carried on beating him up and immobilized him and that was it."
Stone was taken to hospital along with another unnamed American passenger, who was hit in the shoulder with a bullet.
Mobile phone footage from inside the train and played on several TV stations shows the suspect, a skinny man wearing white trousers and no shirt, flattened on the floor of the train with his hands and feet tied behind his back.
A Kalashnikov is seen leaning against a seat and blood is visible on a window.
"I'm just a college student," said Sadler. "I came to see my friends for my first trip to Europe and we stop a terrorist. It's kind of crazy."
President Barack Obama praised the young men, saying "it is clear that their heroic actions may have prevented a far worse tragedy."
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the group showed "great bravery."
"Without their cool-headed actions we could have been faced with a terrible incident," he said.
The motives for the shooting were not immediately known, although French prosecutors said counter-terrorism investigators had taken over the probe.
France has been on high alert since Islamist gunmen went on the rampage in January, murdering 17 people in Paris.
In June, a man beheaded his boss and tried to blow up a gas plant in southern France in what prosecutors say was an attack inspired by the Islamic State group.
The man began shooting at 5:50 p.m. local time, train operator Thalys said.
He was arrested 10 minutes later when the train, with 554 passengers on board, stopped at Arras station in northern France, a railway spokesman said.
One of the passengers, who asked to be identified only as Damien, 35, said he had heard the gunman shooting but initially thought the sound came from a toy.
"The man stopped between two carriages, fired and it made a click-click-click sound, not at all like in the films," he said, still clearly shocked.
French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, who appeared in the 1986 cult film "Betty Blue" staring Beatrice Dalle, suffered minor injuries as he tried to activate the train's alarm, a spokesman for SNCF said.
The gunman had probably boarded the train in Brussels, a police source said.
In May last year, four people, including two Israeli tourists, were murdered when a Muslim terrorist opened fire at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.
AFP contributed to this report.
Click on link for picture:
For more information and pictures click on link to Daily Mail article:
Ayoub El-Khazzani, 26, allegedly opened fire on the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris with a Kalashnikov
He 'wounded one man before he was disarmed and beaten unconscious by two American soldiers and a student'
Alarmingly, suspect had already been on government officials' radars in four European countries prior to attack
He had previously traveled to Turkey - where he 'received military training with ISIS' - and then to Syria to fight
Spanish officials had flagged him to French police last year because he belongs to 'radical Islamist movement'
Questions are now being asked as to how El-Khazzani, from Morocco, was allowed to move freely around Europe
During Friday evening attack, El-Khazzani 'started shooting on train', which had more than 500 passengers on it
Air Force airman Spencer Stone ran at the gunman, along with Oregon National Guard member Alek Skarlatos, 22
With the help of Anthony Sadler, from California, and British national Chris Norman, they stopped the terror attack
Three people, including Stone, wounded in the attack and French police have hailed the bravery of the bystanders.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3207394/Pictured-Moroccan-terrorist-26-taken-hero-airman-friends-opening-fire-French-train-emerges-fought-ISIS-Syria-known-FOUR-intelligence-agencies.html#ixzz3jbjcW7ED
"...Khazzani first settled in Spain in 2007, where he was employed as a housepainter. However, he was arrested in 2009 and 2010 over drugs offences, writes David Chazan and James Badcock.
Sophie David, a lawyer who assisted him after his arrest in the northern French city of Arras on Friday following the attempted attack, told local newspapers that he had twice been convicted for drug dealing in 2013.
By the time he moved in 2013 to the southern city of Algeciras, where he frequented a radical mosque and associated with people known to have links with extremist groups, Spanish intelligence had identified him as a security threat.
The Spanish flagged him up to French intelligence in February 2014 and warned that they believed he was planning to move to the Paris area to join a friend.
It was then he was listed as a security threat in France, which meant that if police checked his identity or he produced his passport to enter or leave the Schengen area, it would automatically be flagged up to other European countries.
European intelligence services face questions over their apparent failure to coordinate their action and stop the gunman although he had been on their radar for several years as a serious threat, write David Chazan in Paris and James Badcock in Algeciras.
He was placed on the Schengen register, in which information about "persons of interest" is shared by 27 European countries, as early as 2012, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
There are discrepancies between French and Spanish accounts of his movements in the years leading up to the attempted attack, as leaked to the media by intelligence sources in the two countries. French and Spanish security services are reportedly engaged in a row over who may be to blame.
In France, Ayoub el-Khazzani was classified as a grade 3 threat, meaning he was considered to pose a serious risk. Those identified as a threat to national security are graded on a scale from 1, the highest risk, to 16, the lowest.
Police and intelligence services would have routinely been notified whenever the 25-year-old Moroccan passed through an international airport, or went through passport control. However, under the Schengen agreement, travellers are not required to show their passports when they cross borders between 26 European countries. France, Spain, Belgium and Spain -- countries he is known to travelled to in recent years -- are all in the Schengen area. Britain is not.
Additional footage from the train which shows the attacker lying on the floor after being overthrown has been released..."
Also see: Dit Is De Thalys Terrorist - This Is The Thalys Terrorist
Belgie Onderzoekt Mogelijk Terreurbanden Verdachte Thalys - Belgium Investigates Possible Terror Ties Of Thalys Suspect
België onderzoekt mogelijke terreurbanden verdachte Thalys
Het federaal parket in België onderzoekt of de verdachte die vrijdag waarschijnlijk een aanslag wilde plegen in een Thalys-trein, banden had met terreurorganisaties. De Belgische veiligheidsdiensten denken niet dat de Marokkaan Ayoub El Kahzzani alleen handelde, schrijven Belgische media maandag...
Crew on Paris-bound train 'barricaded themselves in their staffroom and locked the door as Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist went on the rampage – leaving PASSENGERS to take him down'
Train staff on board train which was the scene of a foiled terrorist attack accused of abandoning passengers
A man named in reports as Ayoub el-Qahzzani opened fire on train which had more than 550 passengers on board
He was arrested by police at a train station in Arras and was initially taken to hospital but is now in custody
The 26-year-old Moroccan national is a suspected radical Islamist who was known to security services
Air Force airman Spencer Stone ran at the gunman when he opened fire on the high speed service to Paris
Was on the train with friend Oregon National Guard member Alek Skarlatos, 22, who was travelling through Europe
With the help of Anthony Sadler, from California, and British national Chris Norman, they stopped the attack
Three people, including Stone, wounded in the attack and French police have hailed the bravery of the bystanders
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3206426/U-S-Marines-armed-gunman-onboard-high-speed-train-Amsterdam-Paris.html#ixzz3jfqXUWiL
Praise for fifth Thalys hero, French American Mark Moogalian, shot in the neck trying to grab jihadi attackers gun.
Will also receive Legion of Honor award.
ma 24 aug 2015, 23:45
Lof voor vijfde Thalys-held
Een tot nu toe onbekend gebleven man krijgt ook een Franse onderscheiding voor zijn optreden tegen de vermeende terrorist in de Thalys afgelopen vrijdag. Het gaat om de Frans-Amerikaanse Mark Moogalian, hoogleraar aan de Sorbonne Universiteit in Parijs, zo melden verschillende Franse en Amerikaanse media
De 51-jarige Moogalian schoot een Franse bankier te hulp, die als eerste een poging deed de met een kalasjnikov gewapende Ayoub El Kahzzani te overmeesteren. De hoogleraar werd daarbij in zijn nek geraakt door een kogel. Daar wordt hij nu voor behandeld.
Zijn vrouw, Isabella Risacher-Moogalian, vertelde vandaag aan de Franse zender Europe 1 dat haar man „een van de helden van dit verhaal" is.
Zij vertelt hoe ze zich verschuilde achter een treinstoel en daarna zag dat haar man gewond was geraakt en riep „Ik ben geraakt, ik ben geraakt!". „Er lag overal bloed", aldus de vrouw.
De Franse president François Hollande heeft maandag drie Amerikanen en een Brit de hoogste onderscheiding in Frankrijk overhandigd. Ze kregen de 'Legion d'Honneur' vanwege hun heldhaftige optreden door het voorkomen van een potentieel bloedbad in de Thalys van Amsterdam naar Parijs.
Hollande zei dat zodra Moogalian aan de beterende hand is, hij de onderscheiding ook krijgt, aldus France 24.
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/7117